BMW Italian Open, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano Wins

Fernandez-Castaño storms to victory

                                                  Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano/Getty Images

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño  finished with an -8 under par round of 64, and a BMW Italian Open  score of -24 under par total to hold off the challenge of Garth Mulroy to win by two shots.

Sunday’s final pairing were neck-and-neck for much of the final round, but Garth unfortunately suffered a  5-5 finish, which ultimately proved decisive at Royal Park I Roveri in Turin. Although Gonzalo was happy with the win he was still disappointed at not making the European Ryder Cup team;

“Not making the Ryder Cup was disappointing, I had a victory, two second-placed finishes and one third, and it hasn’t been good enough. It’s tough. You have to play well in the big events, and that’s what I didn’t do this year unfortunately. I have talked to Olly about The Ryder Cup many, many times. I can laugh about it now, but it hasn’t been easy. I just needed to believe in myself and put The Ryder Cup out of my head, which I’ve done this week. I changed my schedule a little, I normally travel on a Tuesday but I arrived here on Wednesday, mainly because I wanted to see the kids start school. It was a completely different frame of mind for the week. I didn’t know the course, so everything was new to me. I just followed my caddie’s instructions and it worked. The main thing was my attitude. I didn’t get to frustrated out there or try too hard. I just let it happen. It felt like match play out there and I’m delighted to have come out on top, it feels very special to win this tournament again. I thought maybe 22 under par would have been good enough, but the way Garth and I were playing it was crazy. We kept holing putt after putt and it had a match play feel, which was fun. I have to congratulate him because he has played great. We had a great battle.”

Garth Mulroy’s last round of -5 under par  67 was enough to finish two shots clear in second place, with Gregory Bourdy and home favourite Matteo Manassero sharing third after matching 65’s and a tournament total of -20 under par. Garth said he felt he played well;

“I played well, but Gonzo’s putter was a little hot for me today, we were making birdie after birdie and it was fun. The 17th got me in the end there, but I’m happy and I played well. He went through a seven hole stretch where he made six birdies. It forces the other player to make birdies too. The last two days have been very fun.”

Nicolas Colsaerts finished in a share of fifth with Medinah bound teammate Martin Kaymer, Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and England’s Gary Boyd. Nicolas said he is in good shape and playing well ahead of the Ryder Cup at Medinah;

“I feel pretty good, I had a fantastic start which was just what I wanted, to go deep under par after only a few holes. Two bad swings broke my momentum, and on a course like this where everyone makes birdies everywhere, momentum is very important and it feels like you’re losing ground. But I finished well again, which was what I wanted. It helps being able to go through the week in a very cool, calm way, without thinking about qualifying for The Ryder Cup. My goal was to play these two events and to keep going, keep playing and keep the good dynamic I’ve had all year. I wish I could’ve done a little better here, but it’s fulfilled the goal of continuing to play well before going to Medinah. I have a lot of good vibes.”

Gary Boyd produced the shot of the day when he holed his six iron second shot to the eighth green for an albatross, his spectacular round of 63 propels him into the top 115 on The Race to Dubai, and serves as a timely boost to his hopes of keeping his card;

“That’s probably the best I’ve ever played in my career. It was a nice start and then I really got the round going with an albatross at the eighth. At that point I was thinking that maybe I was back in the tournament with a chance to win. There’s a lot of pressure at this time of year and to have practically got over the line this week, with still a few tournaments to go, is a good feeling.”

Alstom Open de France, 1st round, Christian Nilsson Leads

Sweden’s Christian Nilsson leads the Alstom Open de France after the first round at Le Golf National in Paris. His opening round of -6 under par 65, on the par 71 layout, gives him a one shot advantage over three other competitors. The players tied for second spot on -5 under par are; England’s Gary Boyd, Italy’s teenager Matteo Manassero  and Thongchai Jaidee from Thailand.

Christian Nilsson  (Getty Images)

Christian Nilsson (Getty Images)

Christian said in interview;

“It’s been a struggle for me so far this year. My long game was pretty bad, but it’s improved and this is good for my confidence. I’ve been very patient I think. I’ve been practising on things I believe in and just waiting for something to happen, finally looks like it did.”

Gary Boyd referred to the terrible round he had at Celtic Manor;

“That was a bit of a disaster, but I’ve had a lot of positive signs the last three weeks. I’m working on the right things I feel and am getting comfortable again. My game wasn’t where it needed to be and it was time to take a time-out.”

Matteo was happy with his round;

“It was a very good round, everything was going the right direction, the way I wanted. You have to give yourself the most opportunities for birdies that you can, and I didn’t feel like I putted that well, but I was solid and I made some of those chances.”

England’s World Number Three Lee Westwood recovered from four over after six holes and from playing one shot while standing in a lake, to match Open Champion Darren Clarke’s 70. Lee said he did not do too much wrong;

 “I didn’t do much wrong to be four over, but there’s not a lot of panic in me any more , I haven’t got much time for that. It was not going my way, but you just have to get it out of your mind.”

Of the water adventure on hole nine, Lee remembered Thomas Levet jumping in the lake and breaking his leg after winning last year,  he said;

” I didn’t know what was in there, I’ve got plenty of shoes with me.”

Darren Clark, who made his first cut of the year at Royal Portrush last Friday, managed to mix five birdies, two of them in the dangerous last three holes , with two bogey sixes and a double bogey six, for his -1 under par round of 70.